About a month ago, I was asked to review for a new journal that I have never reviewed for before. I’ve been about two weeks delayed in submitting my review. When I first received the manuscript I looked through the introduction and just felt off about it. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it felt familiar. I tucked it away until I could give it closer attention.
I reopened it recently to finish the review and this time was struck even more forcefully with the knowledge that I had read part of it before. I recognized particular phrases because I remembered having considered the wording interesting. I went to my EndNote and, sure enough, found the paper that these authors had plagiarized substantial portions of.
I stopped my review and emailed the associate editor immediately, but I still can’t help but feel irritated. The study was generally interesting and there really was no need to plagiarize the sections they had. It was simply laziness. And that laziness means that they thought that the journal and/or reviews would also be too stupid or lazy to detect their malfeasance. I’m already generally cranky because it is going to snow even more tonight and this has made my crankiness even worse. I hate feeling like I have had my time wasted because some dumb fuck could be bothered to write a couple of original paragraphs.
What the fuck is wrong with people?